Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can have life-altering consequences. Beyond the legal ramifications associated with this charge, Arizona residents also may cause significant bodily harm or death to themselves or others if they drive after drinking or using drugs.
It is important for people to understand what constitutes driving under the influence in Arizona and what penalties they may face if they are facing DUI charges in Tempe.
DUI Charges In Tempe: Do You Have To Be Operating Your Vehicle?
One of the most common misconceptions about DUI charges in Tempe and throughout Arizona is that you have to be driving your vehicle in order to be charged with this criminal offense. The fact of the matter is, Arizona has instituted a stricter law in order to crack down on driving under the influence before it begins. People can be charged with a DUI if they are found to be in actual physical control of their vehicle — or to put it in common terms, simply sitting behind the wheel.
You could be charged with a DUI in Tempe if you are found to be:
- Sitting in a running vehicle with the key in the ignition.
- Sitting behind the wheel with your car headlights on.
- Sitting behind the wheel but parked on the side of the road.
Of course, you also can be charged with a DUI in Tempe if you are driving or operating your vehicle after drinking or doing drugs. It is important to be aware of all circumstances in which you may be charged with a DUI in Arizona.
DUI Penalties In Arizona
The penalties that you may face if you are charged with a DUI in Tempe will vary based on the circumstances of the charge and the number of times you have been charged with a DUI. These are some of the penalties that you may face:
- First Offense — You may spend between 24 hours and 10 days in jail. You will face a $250 base fine. Your license could be suspended between 90 days and 1 year. You will be required to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.
- Second Offense — You may spend between 30 and 90 days in jail. You will face a $500 base fine. Your license could be suspended for 1 year. You will be required to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.
- Third Offense — You may spend a minimum of 4 months in jail. You will face a $750 base fine. Your license could be suspended for 1 year. You will be required to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.
The severity of your penalty can vary significantly based on your legal representation. Hiring the right criminal defense attorney can help you mitigate the damage associated with your charge.
What Should You Do If You Are Facing DUI Charges In Tempe, Arizona?
The first call that you should make after being charged with a DUI in Tempe is to your lawyer. You need someone to collect evidence and represent you throughout your legal journey. This is the best way to protect yourself during this challenging time.
DUI charges are some of the most serious charges that you can face in Tempe and throughout Arizona. If you have recently been charged with a DUI in Tempe, then the best thing you can do is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our qualified and experienced criminal defense attorneys can advocate for you throughout the legal process. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation appointment.